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Homework that has an impact

Discussion in 'Primary' started by mrcooldude, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. mrcooldude

    mrcooldude Occasional commenter

    We're looking to reshape the homework we send home. At the moment, we use mathletics, expect 20 minutes of reading a day and send home weekly spellings. The reading and the spelling seems managable and appears to be making an impact (although we're always looking at better ways to set this) but we're currently not making the most out of maths homework.

    What do you all do and how do you know it has an impact on the children's learning (not just maths but all homework)?
    Do any of you use the pre and post teach model for homework?
  2. chickenlady4

    chickenlady4 Occasional commenter

    I use TTRockstars as homework. At the start of the year I set at least 20/30 games a week and reduce to 10 games by March. We see their response time to times table halve over the course of a year and average around 1-2 sec per question on the computer. The benefits are seen in the ability to work out equivalent fractions etc as well as their times table tests. Most can complete 100 questions (written) using the division facts and decimals too, in less than 3 minutes.
    For English we often use 100 word challenge and encourage them to use ALL the punctuation. They write it on the blog. Other homeworks include research that we can use in following lessons. Grammar is another quick thing - the word classes of all words in 2 or 3 sentences. I don't really like homework (I had 4 children so 4 homeworks were tortuous). Now number facts are really important, I find that it is beneficial to use homework to consolidate these and the more mundane repetition is a good use of home time.
  3. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    Depending on your intake it might be worth checking that all of your students have access to a device at home to use mathletics. Not only that they have a device, that they have regular internet connection,and in large families that they are given time to use it (sometimes older siblings are given priority/hog the thing!).
    You might find that you need to give some time for this in school/set up an afterschool club for children who don't.
    mrcooldude likes this.
  4. mrcooldude

    mrcooldude Occasional commenter

    This is really interesting. I'll look into it.
  5. mrcooldude

    mrcooldude Occasional commenter

    The majority do have access to the internet. We find it's chasing up those who don't do it the hardest thing.
    Lara mfl 05 and galerider123 like this.
  6. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    Getting them to use (at least some of) their spellings in a sentence increases the chance of them using them in their writing and focuses attention on correct grammar. Higher ability children can be asked to write complex sentences or sentences with a specific grammar construct that they have just learnt (if it is appicable to the spellings). So if you give out 12 spellings, you would ask them to write a sentence each for at least 6 of them. They can write them on the back of their spelling sheet.
    Don't allow, " Cautiously means to do something in a cautious way," sort of sentences...they need to show that they understand its meaning and can use the word in a different context.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  7. mrcooldude

    mrcooldude Occasional commenter

    Thanks for this!
    galerider123 likes this.
  8. ninabaines5

    ninabaines5 New commenter

    I hated doing homework being a student :)
  9. ashleysummer

    ashleysummer New commenter

  10. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    I don't there are many homework tasks that actually have an impact on learning (in a positive way at least).
    BetterNow, minnie me and lardylady like this.
  11. mrcooldude

    mrcooldude Occasional commenter

    What sorts? Daily reading and weekly spelling seems to be effective for us so far.
  12. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    I wouldn't call reading homework. It's just something that should be done. I agree in its value.

    Spellings. Maybe.

    It's more the 'proper' homework tasks that I'm not really a huge fan of.
    BetterNow likes this.
  13. Pencilplayground

    Pencilplayground New commenter

    Have you heard of a homework journal? You set out 'we have been learning/ we will be learning'...

    Then you suggest 4 tasks they can do to show you what they have learnt or to bring to the next lesson eg. Explain how addition is different from subtraction. Create addition word problems. Roll a dice 3 times and add the numbers together etc.

    Whereas Literacy might be: research facts about the Stone Age, draw a picture of the Stone Age boy adding adjectives, write a description of a Stone Age mammoth. Etc.

    Children choose the activity or activities they would like to do. The challenge is to fill the page with learning.
  14. davidGGlines

    davidGGlines New commenter


    I usually give more homework assignments to the top students, for example, complex sentences analysis sheets. Here's what they need to do: they should analyze their own mistakes and then write an analysis of each sentence (starting with the discourse (if it's a newspapers' headline, structure, specific stylistic devices, etc.).

  15. Great recommendations, thank you
  16. jeffjeremy

    jeffjeremy New commenter

    Thanks! A good idea. Keep it up
  17. rl3384

    rl3384 New commenter

    I work in a school where getting homework completed is a real struggle. I've had to think hard about the impact it has, and there doesn't seem to be a school policy, which I find tricky. I used to send weekly spellings home, but this had no impact so I stopped. I used to try to get children to read 3 times a week at home but this just wasn't happening either.

    So now, I set 5 studio and 5 garage games on TTR, but due to many children not having access to a device to play on, or indeed having the time to go on it due to parents/siblings also using the device, I tend to dish out laptops in registration a couple of mornings and get them done during school time.

    I also expect children to read at home once, whether this is with an adult or on their own and have it written in their diary, otherwise children will just claim they've read, when they blatantly haven't. Children will read with an adult 1:1 each week, as well as in smaller groups.

    They have weekly maths homework which tends to be based around real life links where possible.

    Then each half term/term (depending on length) they're given a 'project' which coincides with science/RE/topic. For example, when pilgrimage in RE, homework might be to think of a place that is special to them, and to show and explain why, they're usually given free choice (with lots of ideas and examples) of how to present this e.g. some like to do a ppt, some like to create a model, make a poster etc.

    I've been at my current school for 2 years and when I first started, I was encouraged to keep children in each week if they hadn't read at home or hadn't done their homework. But honestly, what's the point? I'm reading with them and doing everything right at school, apart from conversations with parents and encouragements to the children, what more can I do? So I've stopped keeping them in, as this had zilcho impact, the same children would just be in each week, every child has a bookmark/tracker in their homework book. If they read and do their maths homework each week, they get a stamp and when the bookmark is full (10 stamps) they get a reward (pack of sweets, dip in the box etc). I find it's nicer to acknowledge the ones who do try and I've found that there are more children completing homework.

    (I teach year 5).
  18. thin_ice

    thin_ice Occasional commenter

    Very strange timeline to this zombie thread.
  19. wilsonella0611

    wilsonella0611 New commenter

  20. muhammadasiff98

    muhammadasiff98 New commenter

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